CAN BRIAN HERNANDEZ JR RIDE TO VICTORY?

Brian Hernandez Jr is still looking for his first win as a jockey in a Triple Crown event. He was set to ride Art Collector on September 5 at the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, but then at the last minute, Art Collector was scratched from the list because of a minor foot injury. Hernandez had an excellent shot to win the Kentucky Derby but instead was out of the race. The irony built when he finished his other riding assignments at Churchill Downs on Derby Day and wanted to leave before the climactic event, but protests taking place in Louisville blocked him from leaving, so he watched the fight. 

Hernandez has a reputation as one of the top positional jockeys in all of horse racing, getting his horses in the right spot to win and understanding how to save ground. Can he win on Saturday riding Art Collector at the Preakness? 

Check out the latest odds as well as our thoughts on Hernandez’s chances.

Preakness Stakes – Odds to Win

**Courtesy of JazzSports.ag 

PostHorseJockeyCurrent Odds*
1ExcessionSheldon Russell+3000
2Mr. Big NewsGabriel Saez+1200
3Art CollectorBrian Hernandez Jr+250
4Swiss SkydiverRobby Albarado+700
5Thousand WordsFlorent Geroux+600
6Jesus’ TeamJevian Toledo+3000
7Ny TrafficHoracio Karamanos+1300
8Max PlayerPaco Lopez+1250
9AuthenticJohn Velazquez+165
10PneumaticJoe Bravo+2000
11LiveyourbeastlifeTrevor McCarthy+3000

*Odds are subject to change. 

Preakness Stakes Spotlight: Can Brian Hernandez Jr Ride Art Collector to Victory?

Hernandez has been Art Collector’s regular rider in races since last November, and he started riding Art Collector during work sessions in the spring. In four races in 2020 they have yet to finish anywhere other than first, with the Blue Grass Stakes and the Ellis Park Derby the most prestigious of the four.

Art Collector’s trainer is Tommy Drury, and in a press conference this week, he said, “I think Brian fits this horse like a glove. He’s been on him for most of his breezes in the mornings, you know, gosh, he even served as my exercise rider for a few days there at Churchill and was galloping him. And I can’t think of anybody else on earth that I’d rather have on this horse.”

Since scratching at the Kentucky Derby, Art Collector has completed three workouts, once at the Skylight training center and the other two at Churchill Downs. According to Hernandez, Art Collector is making progress toward a stellar performance on Saturday. The current odds for the Preakness Stakes have Art Collector as the second choice behind Authentic, who won the Kentucky Derby.

More Information About Hernandez

Hernandez comes up with jockeying as a tradition, as he is the brother and son of jockeys. He won the Eclipse Award in 2004 as the top apprentice rider, and he has built a solid reputation since then, with most of his rides taking place in the New Orleans circuit during the winter and Kentucky during the other seasons. Going into Friday, he has 2,082 victories, capped by the Breeders’ Cup classic in 2012, when he won above Fort Larned. Other major victories include the Kentucky Jockey Club, Madison, Stephen Foster, Whitney, Spinster, Louisiana Derby and the Alcibiades. A win in a Triple Crown race would be the next bullet point on his resume. He rode McCraken in the 2017 Kentucky Derby and has ridden twice in the Preakness Stakes before. So if any jockey is due on Saturday, it might well be Hernandez.

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